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Kate Lewis

Posted by Kate Singleton on


Kate Lewis is a Chicago-based artist whose loves of color and pattern are obvious in her punchy, whimsical still-lifes.




Where are you from and where do you live currently?


I am from Halls, TN. It's a quaint little farming community about 75 miles north of Memphis. I currently live in Chicago, IL just a few blocks from the lake and have lived here for almost 12 years. I know, city living is a bit different from the country in TN. Luckily, I spend time in TN several times a year. I'm always pleased when my southern accent gets stronger while there. :)





Half a Purple Poppy, $400.


What inspires the rooms and scenes you paint? Do you ever paint scenes from your own home?

I am inspired by images that make me stop and think; wow, i've never thought about doing that. Rooms that have an unexpected color combo or texture/pattern mix, I want to eat up. I devour design blogs and magazines and my new love, Pinterest! Don't ask my husband about my addiction... Yes, I bounce back and forth from painting scenes of little vignettes in my own home and images that I have discovered elsewhere.




Your recent paintings are on canvas made lumpy and messy with gesso. Tell us about this development.


I started experimenting with layers and layers of gesso about 3 years ago. I happened upon an Elizabeth Peyton painting at Art Chicago and I loved it's edges. They were rough and uneven. They were fantastic. Since that encounter, my canvases have been more and more lumpy. I enjoy the combination of flowy watercolor and acrylic with the goopy layers of gesso. Just as my images often contain unusual patterns or color combination, the delicate treatment of the paint paired with the lumpiness of the gesso is a fun and unexpected combo.



Ikat and Polka Dots, $300.


How long have you been selling your paintings online? Seems like you have a very healthy following!


Although I've been making art all of my life and I've had a blog and web site for over 5 years, it's just been in the last year that my work has been selling consistently online. It's been a really fun year! Fortunately, I have gotten some wonderful reviews from design bloggers. The first major traffic driver was when Anna Spiro of Absolutely Beautiful Things wrote about me early last year. Then I was featured in the August issue of House of Fifty magazine. Since then, I've had a fun ride of making new work and shipping it all around the world. It's a delight to know that people enjoy my work enough to want to live with it. Makes me smile. :)



Sunshine, $500.


Color is front and center in your work. What shades are you currently fawning over?


Ohhh, don't get me started. My all-time favorite color is a golden yellow. I could eat yellow for lunch everyday! Right now, I'm having a love affair with oranges. Tangerine Tango has been on my nails for the last month and it's making its way into every painting lately. My favorite color combinations of all time are pink/orange and red/orange. My love affair with pink/orange/pink/red came about when I bought my first baby stroller. It was a red stroller with a pink inset. I haven't looked back since. Inspiration comes from everywhere, and that stroller seemed to spark something in me about 5 years ago just before my daughter was born. Love it!



The artist's workspace.


What are a few of your most favorite blogs (perhaps a few biggies and a few lesser known blogs...)


Absolutely Beautiful Things, Design Sponge and Brabourne Farm are my go to when I really need a jolt of color and pattern inspiration.

The Glow, Design Mom and NieNie Dialogues is where I go when I need a little boost from other mothers of young children. 

Emersonmade, Milk and Honey Home and Trail of Inspiration are simply lovely retreats.





What's next for you? Any exciting projects to look forward to?


I'm currently working on a fun post for Apartment Therapy. I'm excited about this one! I am also starting to prepare for a show here in Chicago which opens in May.

I have been itchin' to do some work on paper- maybe working with collage a little bit and creating another linoleum print. I'm always full of paintings that need to get out, and I've got several canvases waiting on me as I write. I can't wait to get my hands back on this big green one I started a few months ago (she's 48 x 60 inches)!


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